Gambling on the rise in recession-hit Italy
Bet-placing establishments up over 30%21 August, 14:33
A report last year from Italy's Catholic social-service group CEIS found that gambling is Italy's third-largest industry, earning 47.5 billion euros in revenue in 2008.
Its study found that 47% of Italy's poor and 66% of the unemployed are known to gamble.
The study also showed that 47% of youth aged 15-24 have played video poker and slot machines.
Online betting, which tripled in 2011, is growing the fastest, as gamblers spent 1.5 billion euros on the Internet last year.
Gambling revenue in Italy was up 28.8% to 23.2 billion in the first quarter of 2012.
The government takes a hefty cut of revenue from gambling establishments, while most illegal betting is run by the mafia.